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The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  Psalm 145:8 

This is a verse that most of us have heard at least once in our lives if not many, many times.  However, as Christians are we living our lives this way?  We say we want to be like Jesus and we know from His example that He lived his life this way.  I can only speak from my own experience and failings but I know many times I “forget” about this in my life.  Yes, I love because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?  However, am I am gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love?  I know these are characteristics I want to be but what is stopping me? The answer completely is ME.  How is it me?  I think it’s me because I allow myself to get busy, occupied or focused on things that really just do not matter.

I  can think of a few examples that happened just in the last couple of days that God used my children to teach me. Last night, I had decided I was going to make a stop to pick up a couple of things on the way home, however when I turned on road there were two cars there– one had a flat tire and I assumed had all the help it needed with the other car there so I proceeded to turn around and go the other way.  Just as I turned Dustin said, “Mama, you have to stop and let me try to help those people.”  I really did not want to stop because I was on a mission and had a time frame but he was persistent, he said “Those are Mamas and they need help.” I really didn’t know what he could do but we stopped and he did all he could to help and even called in more help but the car ended up needing to be towed away, however the lady told me “You’re raising a fine young man, and my 14 could use some lessons from him.” While I was so proud of him, I wasn’t proud of his Mama at the time because she was too focused at her own agenda rather than slowing down to help someone in need.  Looking back, that stop only costed us about 30 minutes of time and I was still able to do what I needed to do because the Lord had impressed me to leave earlier than I normally do. Another, example that I am not proud of is when the little ones have been at school all day and are so excited to see me and I am them too but then after just a few minutes I am stressed because all that I still need to do, you know the homework, dinner, and everything else. Or when they make a mess and realize in making that mess, they were really trying to make something for you or help you?  I know we are busy people and sometimes our business cannot be helped but sometimes it can.  I am asking the Lord to show me ways to apply this verse daily in my life.

Prayer for today:

Lord, thank you for another day.  I ask you today to slow me down and show me areas that I can be more compassionate in and please help me to be slow to anger and rich in your love with everyone I come in contact with today.                         In Jesus’ name, Amen

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Dear Grandma,

On this day 86 years ago a great thing happened, you were born.  I know you are not here to celebrate with us today because you are having the best birthday ever with Jesus!  I am so happy for you, I can only imagine how big that beautiful smile is now.  The tears are flowing this morning because while I know you’re having the best time, I miss you.  I feel like we should be planning on where we’re going to lunch or where we want to go shopping but we’re not.  I am so thankful for the time that I had you in my life, I know not everyone is as fortunate.  Thank you Grandma for loving our family the way you did. I keep thinking of all I need to do and yet it keeps going back to how you did it– making the bed, the laundry, the dishes, how you washed our hair when we were little–those are such precious memories.  Today, I choose to honor you, celebrate you and cherish the time I had with you.

On Sunday, we had one of your favorite meals for dinner as well as carrot cake and we sent you balloons.  The kids had the best time and were excited to send the balloons and their messages to you. I believe God let you see those balloons and messages.

I will close for now but Happy, Happy Birthday Beautiful Grandma!!

As I sit here in the house all quiet with children sleeping and my husband at work, I once again think of how blessed I am.  Is my life perfect?  No!  It is far from perfect but one thing I know to be true is that I serve a perfect God who loves me uniquely and perfectly.  To look at me from the outside, most days lately I’m sure I look and seem like a mess– which honestly is how I have been feeling.  I haven’t felt good in my body and I have been tired, there has been a lot of changes both good and bad.

One thing that has really been on my heart lately is my precious Grandmother whom I have blogged about before, we have shared so much and our family has been so blessed to have her as long as we have.  We have been told and can see that she does not have long left on this earth, she is seeing people that she hasn’t seen in a long time and walking all over the place (when in actuality she hasn’t gotten out of the bed).  To some this post may seem morbid and I truly hope no one takes it that way because I have talked to her and she told me that she is right with Jesus and ready to see him, she also called me back to tell me about some of her siblings that she will see there too.  Does it bother me that she is ready to leave?  Yes and no, yes because I will miss her and I guess I’m selfish in that way but no because she has lived a good life (no she has never had riches but all she did have she would give) and is about to go to our Heavenly home– what a joyful day that will be for her and those waiting to meet her.  My heart aches because she is my last grandparent but I can also rejoice in the fact that I have wonderful ones that took me as their own when I married Joe.   I am so thankful for her and her unselfish life, I will never forget the road trips just down the road but we had to have a “snack” because you didn’t travel without food, those wonderful hair washes that she gave, the breakfasts in bed, the “It’s okay, you don’t have to go to school today– I’ll tell your Mommy and Daddy.”  I could go on and on about all of my memories but I’m not sure there is enough time or room because I am sure more will come.  Was she perfect?  No, she wasn’t and isn’t but I choose to think about the good and not the bad– one thing is for sure, if she was for you– then she was for you, no matter what.

I will proudly say thank you Grandma for the sacrifices that you made and for taking us to church, I will always remember you taking us and the Vacation Bible Schools we attended as well as when you would go with us to Woodland, thank you for loving all of us the way that you did.  My life as well as so many others truly is richer because you’ve been in it.  I love you!

” I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3

The Healed Leper

Tonight as I was reading I read the story of the Ten Lepers in Luke 17:11-19.  This is a story that I believe we can all relate to but are we like the one?  We read in this passage that Jesus healed ten lepers but only one came back to give him thanks.  I am sure the other nine were glad to be healed but they did not come back and we read that Jesus said to him “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?  18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”  

This reminds me that no matter how busy I am, I should never be too busy to stop and praise God for everyone of His blessings.   I am thankful for so many things; tonight I want to say thank you God for healing me emotionally and providing for our every need even we don’t realize we have a need.  I was reminded of how we want our children to have manners, be respectful and remember to say please and thank you but often we forget our own “rules” when it comes to our Father God, creator of the entire world.  I know I want to be the one that remembers to praise God and be thankful; how about you?  Blessings from one healed leper to another.

While prepping things to get ready for a family Thanksgiving lunch today, I was reminded of how much I have to be thankful for.  I was greeted by this precious smile in the kitchen that was so happy to be awake and see me even tho I wasn’t planning on him getting up yet.  He needed some mommy help and I was able to give it and then get him and sister playing, hoping they wouldn’t wake up Daddy and big brother.  I was able to read my Bible and devotion this morning and for that I am thankful because many people do not have that privilege or even realize how precious the Word is.  I am so thankful that God loved me enough to send Jesus to die on the cross for me and thankful that Jesus loved us enough to do so.  I am thankful for my parents for loving us and raising us the best that they could and knew how.  I am thankful for my parents that I gained when I got married because they love me like their own too and I realize everyone is not that blessed.  I am thankful for all of my sisters and brothers whether by birth or by marriage- each one is a blessing in my life.  I am so thankful for my hardworking husband that loves the Lord with all his heart and because of that he can love me and kids the way we need for him too.  His patience amazes me, while I may get frustrated about whats going on with the kids or life in general, he will take the time to talk calmly to us and help us see things in a different light.  God knew what He was doing when He sent Joe to me!  I am so thankful for all 3 of our children, each one has their own unique, special personalities and are precious treasures to our family. I am thankful that God has shown me that each one is different and needs to be loved uniquely.

I have not began to cover all that I am thankful for, like a house to live in, a warm bed to sleep in, a car to drive, food to eat but I would encourage all of us to think of all that we have to be thankful for and let each other know what they mean to us.

Blessings to you and Happy Thanksgiving!

It has been a long time since I posted and as I think of all that I have to be thankful for I cannot help but think of this past weekend.  Our church went to Woodland Christian Camp and spent the weekend, we had a great time of family,friends, food, fellowship and fun.  We really got to show the love of God by loving on and serving each other.  I am so proud that my Grandma, who is 83 got to go with us this year, she has gone many times in the past but was unable to go last year and we really weren’t sure if she’d be able to go this year because lately she hasn’t been her “spunky, fiesty” self. I saw a work of God through her this past weekend because the previous weekend and during the week she was tired and wore out but there she was able to fish, fellowship and enjoy the love of those around her.  I remember at one point thinking “this is hard,” trying to make sure that she was having a good time and trying to keep her from getting hurt but thankfully I quickly heard the Holy Spirit telling me that these were precious memories that I would have to treasure.  On Saturday afternoon, we went down to the lake and she fished with our youngest son Pierce and she has so much fun showing him the fish and helping him “catch” one.  On Sunday morning, before we had our church service I came back into my room from running to take some of our things home and found her sweeping our room.  I told her I was going to do that when I got back and she told me that she had it and “to be quiet and get out of there.” She told me that she was going to get our room, her room and the bathroom that we shared.  I said okay and told her I would be glad to help but realized she was more like herself. A few minutes later, when church service was starting she came walking in without her cane or walker and said “I heard the music and didn’t want to be late.”

I am so thankful that God loves us all so much and shows us that with Him all things are possible and we can do all things through Jesus who strengthens us.  Lately, I have been doing some self evaluation and have realized that there is a lot that needs to be changed but I am so thankful to know that not only will God show me what needs to change but also how to change it. 

Blessings to all of you!

Grandma and Pierce

fishing at Woodland Christian Camp May 28,2012